Tuesday, 11 December 2012

12 Months

There are a few stories to tell at the moment, “fun” stories about documentation and about life in general.

But I couldn’t let this week go by without another timeline post.

And so it is…  12 months ago, a Sunday evening, and a very stressed me climbing the walls in fear.  I was two days from going full time and one day from informing everyone in my life about what was going on.

I was trying to figure out what on earth was I going to wear for the first day, such a shallow question, and yet at the time so very important.

Just how was I going to break the news to my team?  And, assuming I came up with a plan what were the chances that it would remain in place once I got into the room with them.  Would I managed to hold myself together long enough to tell people?  Would I just be a nervous wreck and not have the ability to tell them.

How would they react?  Would they laugh?  Call me insane? Or worse?  Would they still be talking to me, and would I be able to keep their respect?

And once that challenge was done…  The department meeting where my boss would tell everyone. I was not sure what his plan was, although I had every faith that he would do it well; but it was still an unknown.   And again, 30 people finding out in one go! Shock? Fear? Ridicule?  Ug!

And finally (professionally at least!) the whole company.  Finding out in drips and drabs as we are a service company and it’s just not feasible to close down the phones to tell all 160 people in one go.  And many of these are not people that I know personally.  How are people who do not know me going to react?

And of course, finding out is one thing – but what would they do when they saw me for the first time.  It’s one thing to hear about something, quite another to see someone for the first time.

Well, as you know it all went really very well.

My team took it in their stride, shock of course, but with a lot of understanding and a lot of support.

The department meeting went very well.  Tomorrow we will have a new team leader Stacy will be joining us for the running of [old name]’s team. Obviously he put more into it than that, but I’ll be honest my head was spinning that much that I can’t remember all of it.  I do quite clearly remember someone asking, “But what will [old name] be doing?”  That is when I joined in, “Err… I’ll be Stacy” Cue lots of ‘er?’ faces and slow realization.  The rest of the day was spent with people coming to my desk to congratulate me on the decision and to wish me luck.

And the company?  Well, lots of emails, obviously.  All of them positive and offering support. And as we had a company initiative to write cards for people and putting them in the Christmas tree.  And I got loads! I cannot tell you how much of a difference it makes to know that the people you work with are so much with you!

12 months ago.  Seems like years, seems like yesterday.  One of the scariest days of my life, one of the best.  One of the strangest years!  And definitely the best!

And I could not have done it without all of the help that I have had, from friends, family, the VU hospital, the company I work for and all of my colleagues.

Thank you all!


  1. ...such a shallow question, and yet at the time so very important

    It may sound shallow, but it's the whole first impression thing isn't it? What you pick to wear will affect how people react to you and if you're trans, I wonder if that is doubly so. I mean, there are preconceptions about how trans folk dress and breaking that stereotype isn't always easy.

    All of them positive and offering support


    1. I do think that had a lot to do with it. I wanted to show people that I was just me, I really did not want to come into the office in an over the top outfit that everyone has in their heads when you tell them that you are transsexual.

      I hope I have nothing in my wardrobe that fits that description!

      Yup, absolutely YAY! :)

  2. Think that you passed the one year test! With distinction!

    1. :) Thanks, here's to the next I don't know how many months!

  3. Congratulations on getting that first year in!

    1. Again, thanks! I can't believe how quickly it has gone! (Or how well)

    2. I'm with you on that; I wasn't much ahead of you in this, having transitioned at work in April of 2011 (I'd first seen at therapist in mid-2008 - 2008-11 is a long story of the gatekeeping kind) and had a year that was nothing short of amazing. I had a bit of an industry change as part of it, too; six months after I transitioned while doing IT work for a .EDU I was recruited and hired by a software company that is and has long been known as a great place to work, and my fortunes have increased since.

      I like to think that, if given the chance to be ourselves, there's a hell of a lot that we're able to do better than before.

    3. I first saw someone at the gender clinic in early 2010, who advised me to see an external therapist (and gave me contact details) as they had a long waiting list, and when I was there it was diagnostic more than therapy as they do not have the resources to spend time with people.

      I started to see the therapist in May of 2010 and made the decision to transition in the summer of 2011. I cannot say how pleased I am that the clinic had such a waiting list - sure it took a lot of time, but the help I got whilst waiting was priceless...

      I think it's less stressful to be me. That's what most of my colleagues have told me over the last three days anyway!


  4. I know that your panic/anxiety issues are very real, and at times debilitating. But despite that (or because of it?), you manage to get through all these these enormous situations right side up. I really admire you, Stace.

    1. There have been times when I have really broken down with fear and panic - I've had to either find an empty meeting room and just sit in a corner for 20 minutes to compose myself, or just leave and go for a walk.

      The fact that the people I tell have been so supportive make such a huge difference in how I can cope.

      I do know that had I have been in the place where I grew up it would have been so different - my brothers friends (people I went to school with) were telling him that he had to talk me out of it when they found out. That I was going to be a laughing stock and ruin my life.

      Thankfully I didn't listen to them when I was in the UK (and so don't have a criminal record) and didn't plan to start when I was so far away in a different country!

  5. Well done on your year!

    I suspect your former schoolmates probably wouldn't recognise or notice Stace if they passed her in the street.

    1. Thanks.

      Probably not :)

      In fact... I found an old friend who I have not spoken to for more than a decade in FaceBook and after much deliberation I sent him a message and Friend request. He saw that we shared a couple of friends and so accepted the request, but alkl he had seen was the first line of "You probably won't recognise me", my name and picture as he just saw the message on his phone.

      And then spent the next day racking his brains to try and figure out who this woman was, as he could absolutely not remember going to school with a girl named Stacy. :)